Bob Hope stars as Sidney Melbourne (a/k/a "The Lemon Drop Kid"), a con man who offers a friendly "sure thing" horse tip to the girlfriend of mobster Moose Moran. But when Sidney's sure thing loses and Moose's original pick wins, Sidney has to Sidney's given until Christmas to pay back the money or else. So to raise the money he owes, Sidney enlists some old pals to hit the street corners of New York dressed as Santa Claus accepting donations for a bogus elderly ladies' home. Calamity ensues when gangster Oxford Charlie (Lloyd Nolan) tries to move in on Sidney's scam. What follows is vintage Hope shenanigans, highlighted by a heart-warming rendition of the Christmas classic "Silver Bells" sung by Hope and Marilyn Maxwell.